After the convincing idea of Firefox 51, the developers of the Mozilla browser set up and release with Firefox 52 the successor officially for download.
At the same time, the developers turn once again to a few set screws to make the surfing with Firefox faster and safer. Do you want to know what’s new? The new version has already looked up and presents all important changes to Firefox 52 for you.
Firefox 52: Off for Windows XP
As the last browser producer Mozilla terminated the support of Windows XP after publishing Firefox 52. Firefox users who still rely on the more than 15-year-old operating system from Microsoft are expected to receive security updates with the ESR version of Firefox 52 until September 2017, but no updates with new features or improvements.
After that, the final conclusion is final. If you are still interested in new Firefox features, then the long overdue change to a more recent Windows version is no longer around. Even Microsoft has not supported its operating system for three years; Google’s Chrome has not received updates for Windows XP for a year.
Firefox 52 on security
With Firefox 52, the issue of security is high. For example, Mozilla strengthens its efforts to warn users against the transmission of sensitive data about unsecured connections. So far the browser “only” in the address line, if sensitive information like passwords should go through an unencrypted HTTP line through the net.
Firefox 52 goes a significant step further and displays a clear message under the input field. Good: This is how the user is warned that his access data may fall into the wrong hands. Bad: In this case, the user has no choice but to not use the service. Only when the provider has switched the connection to an encrypted HTTPS line is the data transmission secure.
Firefox says goodbye to Java, Silverlight & Co.
With the release of Firefox 52, Mozilla is supporting all NPAPI plug-ins. These include Microsoft’s Flash alternative Silverlight and Java. Only for Adobe Flash makes the producer due to the still high dissemination an exception.
However, only those users who are still using the 32-bit version of Firefox are affected by this measure. In the more modern, 64-bit version Mozilla decided against the support of the obsolete interface from the beginning. For users who use Firefox in the professional environment and rely on the use of Java, Mozilla grants a grace period: The ESR version of Firefox 52 remains the obsolete interface for browser extensions. By the beginning of 2018, these users have time to look for alternatives.
Other improvements for Firefox 52
In order to increase the security of encrypted connections, Firefox version 52 or higher supports the encryption protocol TLS 1.3. This is only beneficial to the user when the Web providers start delivering their content via TLS 1.3. This should take some time. The security protocol is not finalized, it is only a draft.
From Firefox 52, Mozilla does not use the “Primetime” decryption module: The “Content Decryption Module” (short: CDM) was used by the browser to play encrypted videos from streaming portals. The reasons why the manufacturer renounces the DRM module from now on is not known. However, most streaming portals probably rely on the Google module called “Widevine”, which is still in Firefox and will soon also end up in the Android version of the Firefox browser.
In addition, multi-process architecture (electrolysis) is also landing on devices with a touchscreen for the first time. If you want to know if Firefox is already using the power of multiple data cores, type about: support in the address line and check the entry for “Windows with multiple processes”. If there is 1/1, the new technique is activated.
Conclusion: Firefox 52
With Firefox 52, Mozilla shows again how important the browser manufacturer is to security and data protection. The new features also show the dilemma in which enlightened (Firefox) users are stuck in many places, the browser can only warn and point to problems.
As long as the providers offer their content not appropriately secured, the user has a choice on the PC. It is therefore very welcome that Firefox now warns unequivocally when websites are asking for access data unencrypted, but the user does not have more possibilities than not to use the service. Pleasingly, Mozilla’s theme is fingerprinting.
However, a simple implementation is required if the majority of Firefox users are to use it. The end of support for Windows XP is overdue: anyone who still uses the hopelessly outdated operating system on the Internet in 2017 is irresponsible, and software vendors should not support it.